Summary of results

A survey with 16 questions was sent to 650 Alumni of the Surveying Engineering Department. Of these 650 the department received 177 filled questionnaires. An analysis of the results shows that the state of the Surveying Engineering Department Alumni of Ferris State University is excellent. 88% of these Alumni are working in the Surveying Engineering profession, the average salary is $74000 which is well above the average salary stated by the US Department of Labor for Professional Surveyor. From these Alumni 19% are earning more than $100,000. More than 71% are licensed as Professional Surveyors and 5% are Professional Engineers.

Areas generally perceived as the most critical need in surveying education in the next five years are:

Areas perceived as least relevant were photogrammetry and remote sensing except for those working in the photogrammetry industry.

The following action was taken to address these concerns:

  • In The new Surveying Engineering curriculum, GPS is taught and integrated in more courses for example SURE220, SURE230, SURE425 and SURE440, in addition to the Geodesy and GPS courses SURE452 and SURE453.
  • The new GIS and Digital Photogrammetry lab enables practical experience with the state of the art GIS technologies as well as other technologies such as Laser Scanning.
  • Another legal aspects course was added SURE366 to reflect the need.
  • The department has developed a new form that provides information about the small business management certificate. This program is an excellent opportunity for students interested in learning more about management and faculty encourages student to take these four courses.
  • State Plane coordinates are now being taught and practiced in almost all the courses of the Surveying Engineering program.

The complete survey with the questions, results and an analysis is presented in the attached Appendix.

Appendix Alumni Survey

  • Category Yes No

     

    Yes

    No

    Participants

    147

    20

    Percentage

    88%

    12%

    Many of the alumni that answered No have indicated working in related fields such as civil engineering, Photogrammetry, and so on.

    This question reflects program outcome number 1.

  • Category Number Percentage

    Government

    33

    20%

    Academia

    4

    3%

    Private

    127

    77%

    Arena Graph

  • Description SIT PS EIT PEs

    Total number out of 177

    39

    113

    18

    7

    Percentage

    22%

    64%

    10%

    4%

    Alumni that have graduated before 2000

    23

    109

    13

    7

    Percentage

    15%

    71%

    9%

    5%

    Credentials Graph

    This question reflects program outcome number 7, and demonstrates that indeed the Surveying Engineering program provides the education needed for the graduates to become qualified as licensed professional surveyors.

  • Salary Range In $1000 No of participants Percentage %

    <30

    3

    2

    30 - 40

    4

    3

    40 - 45

    8

    6

    45 - 50

    15

    11

    50 - 55

    14

    10

    55 - 60

    11

    8

    60 - 65

    12

    8

    65 - 70

    14

    10

    70 - 80

    11

    8

    80 - 90

    11

    8

    90 - 100

    12

    8

    over 100

    27

    19

    Average Salary (142 participants all alumni since 1974): $ 74,014

    Remarks:

    1. Several responses did not indicate their degree (BS, AAS, MS etc.). Consequently the presented results are slightly biased downward as they include alumni from the AAS program.
    2. The three responses that have marked a salary of “less than $30000” also indicated part-time employment (people that have retired, or alumni in maternity leave).

    Salary Range Graph

    Graduation

    Year Range Average Salary ($)

    2000

    55,717

    1990

    68,480

    1980

    83,121

    1970

    86,014

    Average Salary of Alumni

  • Range Number Percentage

    Less than 5

    25

    15%

    5 to 10

    21

    13%

    10 to 25

    29

    18%

    25 to 50

    16

    10%

    over 50

    70

    44%

    Alumni Employment

  • Percentage that said Yes Number (out of 161) Category

    82%

    138

    Land surveying which is the surveying of an area for its correct determination or description for its conveyance, or for the establishment or re-establishment or a land boundary or the designing or design coordination of the plotting of land and the subdivision of land.

    62%

    105

    Geodetic surveying which includes surveying for determination of the size and shape of the earth both horizontally and vertically and the precise positioning for points on the earth utilizing angular and linear measurements through spatially oriented spherical geometry. (include GPS)

    46%

    78

    Utilizing and managing land information systems through establishment of datums and local coordinate systems and points of reference.

    80%

    136

    Engineering and architectural surveying for design and construction layout of infrastructure.

    76%

    129

    Cartographic surveying for the making of maps, including topographic and hydrographic mapping.

  • Skill Average

    Leadership

    4.3

    Teamwork

    4.4

    Communication

    4.6

    Problem Solving

    4.4

    5=critical 4=very important 3=important 2=not very important 1=not needed

  • Skill Average

    Leadership

    3.2

    Teamwork

    3.7

    Communication

    3.4

    Problem Solving

    4.2

    5=excellent, 4=very good, 3=good, 2=not very good 1=not at all

    This section reflects program outcome 5 and demonstrates that indeed graduates are able to function and communicate effectively both as individuals and as members of teams.

  • Subject Average

    Legal Aspects/Land Boundaries

    4.3

    Business Aspects

    3.8

    Geodesy/GPS

    3.7

    Photogrammetry/Remote Sensing

    2.6

    Data Analysis

    3.7

    Route Surveying/Traverse/COGO

    4.1

    GIS/LIS

    2.8

    CAD/ Computer Applications

    4.2

    Map Projections/Coordinate Systems

    3.6

    Leveling

    3.7

    Land Use Design

    3.4

    Automated Data Collection and Processing

    4.1

    Soils/Drainage/Hydrology

    3.0

    5=critical 4=very important 3=important 2=not very important 1=not needed

  • Subject Average

    Legal Aspects/Land Boundaries

    4.0

    Leveling

    4.0

    Route Surveying/Traverse COGO

    3.98

    CAD/Computer Applications

    2.9

    Automated Data Collection and Processing

    2.7

    5=excellent, 4=very good, 3=good, 2=not very good 1=not at all

    It is important to note that many surveying engineering technologies and specifically CAD/Computer applications and automated data collection and processing software have dramatically changed in the last 20 years. The numbers reflects the fact that practical education (labs) that was given ten or more years ago is often no longer relevant. The department has recently acquired 38 new computers and all the software in this lab is state-of-the-art with the latest versions installed.

    1. More legal aspects and boundary surveying
    2. Business management, team work and communication skills
    3. More GPS and GIS
    4. More advanced technologies like internet and laser scanning
    5. Working with state Plane coordinates
    • Indeed the Department has recently added a legal-aspects of surveying course (SURE366 -Evidence & Procedures for Bound. Loca).
    • The Department has developed a new form to encourage student to take the Small Business Management certificate and enhance their business skills.
    • GPS technology is now part of the SURE230, SURE220, SURE425 and SURE440 courses. GIS is taught using an advanced lab and include the latest technologies such as internet and laser scanning technologies.
    • State Plane coordinates are now being studied in more courses such as SURE230, SURE220, SURE325, SURE425, and SURE440.
  • Many have expressed their gratitude and wrote kind words about the program in this section for example:

    • “I believe the success I've achieved in my career is directly proportional to the education I received at FSU. The educational experience was most rewarding, and also helped develop my work ethic, because of the effort required to earn my survey degree.”
    • “I feel everything needed in today workplace is included at FerrisState.”

    Some have stressed again the importance of management abilities and team work, and the importance of GPS and internet technologies.